We arrived in Dubrovnik after an eventful journey. The eventful journey being 12 hours on a bus, not that I can complain seeming I have done 30 hours on a bus, but that was a moving bus going places. These 12 hours were mainly spent stationary. From waiting 2 hours to cross the Albanian border into Montenegro. Then another 2 hours to exit the border of Montenegro then 3 hours with overtaking a not moving line into the Croatian border. Arriving at the Croatian border and handing over our passports, three people where told to get off the bus. Our bus driver had to unload the baggage so they could get their bags. It was also at this point where knowing my bladder with my high blood sugar levels had reached breaking point of needing to pee, decided that it had enough of me waiting so I had to pee in the bus toilet which was a big no no. Also lucky I didn’t get chosen to remove my bags imagine having to explain why I had random needles in all sorts of places in my bag.
Though we did and we arrived in Croatia. The next day we were keen to get our explorer shoes on plus it was a sunny day what could go wrong. Having enjoyed Brac we decided it would be a good idea to visit the island Lokrum, a 15 minute ferry ride away. Hopping on the boat, book in bag so I could read in the sun, it was a tad cold to swim it was time to set sail. We caught up with a few people when we reached the island and decided to go to the watering hole, it was a lake in the middle of the island filled with salt water. I even went for a bit of a dip, but I got a bit cold and escaped to dry off and read my new book ‘Ladies and Children First’. This was we’re I saw grey clouds looming forwards. I ignored this until my friend hopped out and I said I think a storm is brewing. 2 seconds later literally the thunder rolled. We were like oh shit we should find shelter. On our walk to the watering hole and near the boat depot there was a restaurant that seemed sheltered. At this point it had started to rain, so we dashed. I was wrong, there was no shelter, the shelter being umbrellas that were now pulled down. Our next option was the info centre. The rain was pelting harder, the thunder louder and there was lightning. I was a bit scared. I hate thunderstorms as it is. Well the rest of the island had the same idea to shelter in the info centre so we were left outside under a tiny bit of roof to the side of the building. I couldn’t even remember safety precautions of what to do in a thunderstorm but I’m sure standing outside one isn’t safe. With a towel that we were both sharing led us to think how the fuck were we going to get off this island. Certainly it wasn’t safe to sail. So here we were stranded on an island and no one had any idea how we were going to get off, when we were going to get off, even better when the rain was going to stop.
What had seemed like an eternity but really was an hour someone had said they had seen a boat, so me and my friend thinking that we are wet anyway headed off to the pier. Lucky we did, because there was a boat on the way, and everyone was headed towards it. But we ended up on it, a bit like my book, ladies and children first. Drenched and miserable a bit because I hate being wet, it was time to find somewhere to eat and a warm drink.
Time for adventure number 2: our search for food. We saw people from our tour leave a restaurant saying that they just ate in a souvenir shop. What an experience, and the man was beckoning us in. It was the first time I can say that I’ve eaten my lunch in a souvenir shop. It was also a delicious lunch, I pigged out on lasagne and pizza and a hot chocolate. Then the man asked if we could hurry up because we were only a table of 2 sitting on a 6 person table and he had 6 hungry people waiting. So wolfing down our food we went back to our hostel to nap to prepare for a night out.
The first club was alright with cocktail buckets, the second club was just not our scene so we ended up at an Irish pub which turned into quite a pattern well only in Prague when we bailed on seconds clubs.
This is a quick post to describe the type of accommodations and range of nights sleep I have had throughout these 12 weeks. It turns out to be quite a list in no particular order.
1. Park benches: after arriving in Split at 4am, we were unable to check in and sleep, so we dropped off our nags at Golly and Bosi and trekked up a look out to watch the sunrise and slept a few hours on park benches until it got a bit hot we moved to park benches in the shade.
2. Ferry: the first ferry ride from Split to Ancona I bought air seats because I heard deck would mean no seats and floor. It must have been and empty ferry that day as we were able to spread out on the air seats and had the whole room to ourselves.
The next time was traveling with top deck from Ancona again but this time to Plataria in Greece. We got given dorms and I was asleep on the top bunk. The vibrations of the ship made me think I was on a cellulite burner but it put me to sleep.
3. Train: a train from Amsterdam to Prague. I was also sick. We had no chairs at all and pretty much had to lie flat for the next 12 hours. Lucky I was on a bottom bunk I wouldn’t have known how I would’ve survived the second bunk or even the third bunk on top. Not a very comfortable sleep.
4. Bus: a 30 hour bus ride from Riga to Budapest, you had to sleep or you would’ve gone crazy. Lucky again I was able to spread my legs and lie across 2 seats for most of the journey.
5. Hostels: fro, squeaky beds in Prague to king singles in Berlin to little dens in Split at least there was always a roof over my head.
My favourite place I would have to say I’ve slept other than my bed would’ve been Prague even if the beds did squeak but they had doonas plus a warm shower.
It was time yet again to be in transit. We hopped onto another overnight ferry from Ancona but this time to Plataria. The ferry ride was a bit more comfortable this time as we had beds instead of chairs. The chairs were comfy but having a bed is a lot more comfortable. It was also interesting this time the amount of people who had deck tickets. There were so many inflatable beds in the aisles and everywhere you walked around. It literally looked like they were boat people.
Arriving in Plataria we were split into boat crews and also we came to the realisation that the town does not have an atm.Turns out that a captain wasn’t going to man the boats but us. I have had zero experience but as a team called as one girl had put it the tittie committee or the more polite version boat 8, we were given an intro and then set sail. Sailing was very pretty. Our first stop of the night after sailing a few hours was somewhere starting with S. It was at a private resort with watersides and a bar. It was also the place where the nearest ATM was a 20 minute drive. Having only 5 euros in my wallet I needed money desperately. So me and a group of us hopped into the tray of a ute and travelled the 20 minutes to an ATM. Arriving back it was time for some tea which was chicken gyros and time to start partying. It was a night of crazy partying, once again there were people dancing in the bar, showing their tits for free drinks and having peopledo body shots off them. Then we went for a swim sans tops. That was my extent of nakedness. Heading back to my boat, I met with 2 of my crew who were fuming. Turns out 2 people had gone onto our boat into these girls rooms and had sex. It wasn’t their boat even, the claim being I didn’t know which boat I was on didn’t really work. Lucky it wasn’t my room but I as always am a messy person so the room and bed was a mess. I guess it’s lucky that I am messy sometimes. More people went swimming in the sea naked but that’s not my scene.
The next day as the sex on a boat saga disappeared we sailed to Corfu. Though our first stop was a random island for water sports. Water sports not really being my thing, I just sat on our boat in the sun sun baking and reading and getting burnt. Sailing for a few more hours we arrived in Corfu, but it wasn’t the party side of Corfu, it was the deserted fishing side. We did see a donkey though, took some selfies. This dinner was one of the worst I’ve had, the calamari was so chewy and overlooked and the Asian guy said it was the worst steak he ever had. The place did redeem itself though by showing us some Greek dancing. We danced like the Greeks and also watched as they danced with a table in their teeth and in a ring of fire. It was pretty cool. This night there were no boat dramas but we were told to be wary of the Greek fisherman as they were a bit sleazy.
The next day it was time to sail back to Plataria and spend a night at that dock. It was good having the sun, sailing with sails, jumping into the water from the boat. It was an amazing experience. It was just a shame I didn’t get to see the Mamma Mia style houses which is what I imagined all of Greece to be about. But you can’t have everything
The first day of the tour was interesting. A group of 5 of us had become the newbies as we joined the group of 40.
We did a quick walking tour of Rome. I saw the Coliesium. I had my picture taken in front of it and was able to see the African sellers coming up to you and offering their offerings of bootleg Gucci bags, umbrellas and hats. From the Colleseum we became wrapped up in Hare Krishna parade all the way to the roman ruins and the Trevi fountain. I threw a coin into the fountain, I didn’t want to more than one and end up married, so because I have thrown my one coin in it means I will return to Rome. It’s a city I wouldn’t mind exploring because we didn’t have much time to explore it, so on my next adventures it will be on the list of things to do. We then went off to buy some gelato, there is a store with over 150 flavours but the line was massive and it was a hot day and we all wanted to just cool down and eat some ice cream. We found some gelato and made our way back to the Camping ground to meet the rest of the group but only after we stopped a little girl from pick pocketing this girls bag on the tour.It was a bit daunting meeting everyome as it seemed that cliques had already been made. But we tried our best by attending the ABC (anything but clothes) party wearing bed sheets as togas and playing flip cup, a game I had heard being played the night before because they play it really loudly. Partying was fun and dancing the might away, drinks were drank and I hooked up with an English boy. This is where things got a bit messy because drunk me decided that we were going to have sex and then drunk me backed out. English boy bought me back to reality saying that just because I got screwed over by one boy doesn’t mean that I have to hurt other boys because I’m not only hurting myself but them too because it turns out boys have feelings. He also said that one day I will probably regain boys trust but take it slow and find myself first. What this boy said is true, and we discussed things like that lying in the road looking st the stars. Though when I did get back to my villa which he accompanied me home to I burst into tears with my friend. I think it just hit home, someone pulling me back to reality and popping me fro, my self absorbed bubble.
A few days later we were back in the land of Italy but this time in Venice. It was a bit of a long day after driving most of the day from Zadar to Slovenia to Venice. In Venice we were back at a camping place with a pool and another party place. The first night there was going to be a pool party. I had heard some bad news about a friends father who passed away from cancer so I got a bit teary thinking about that and my friends mum too who is suffering from cancer so I went into a bit of my defense mode which is smoke a lot of cigarettes and drink. My friend and I were on the steps drinking when we heard that there were going to be free shots, so off we dashed to the bar for the free shots which was shots poured into our mouths. Getting our free stand having that pre drink buzzer went and drank some more and danced the night away. There was no boy contact that night. The next day with a bit of a hangover we explored Venice, the sinking city or the city of love. We had a bit of a walking tour and saw St Marks square, then went to a lace making demonstration. Gondola riding even though I was in Venice I decided to decline and just get let in the city turning down streets and alley ways getting lost. It was nice strolling the streets and seeing the masquerade masks which scare the shit out of me but also the jewellery and glass were from the island of Marino. The only bad thing about the day was that we had to wait till 4pm for the bus to come back and collect us seeming that no transport is allowed in Venice. I did ride on a vaperetto taxi, it was the worst experience ever. It was so squished that I was getting groped from all over. Arriving back it was time for a party again and it was alright to be hungover on the bus as we had a long ride to Munich the next day. So drinks were drank, danced to a dodgy coverband. Me being drunk and losing my lighter I decided to go play the lighter trick on these boys. So we went up, asked for a lighter then got talking. Asking the traditional questions of a traveller I was surprised when they said they were from Latvia. So our conversations turned into Latvian conversations. They were surprised to find Latvian people as much as we were. It was crazy. Though back to partying, the partying continued, tops were being taken off in public places, and yes I even took off my top only because every time I tried to button up my blouse the girls would just rip it off. And then bam I find boy number 2. Must be something about Italy but he was from Adelaide anyway. Drunk me once again was like I will have sex with you. So I told my roomie give me 20. She went off with the Latvians and I went to our villa, we made out and then as we were going to do the deed I asked if he had protection . The answer was no, so he said you wait there and I’ll come back. Well I can bet you a billion dollars on what happend. He didn’t come back. Me being bought back to reality yet again. And you would think I would’ve learnt from Rome but nope, I was pretty wrong.
In a semi positive note I got my tarot cards read by this Asian guy on our tour. I asked him about health and he read that the cards I picked included diabetes, and for some reason my bladder and that one day there will be a cure. But of course we all know that that is a long way away.
So I’ve begun the Topdeck European Horizons tour, we joined up with the Summer Fun and Sailing. It has been a bit of a challenge, after having a few weeks of just doing whatever and staying actually in the city centre. We are now staying in the outskirts.
Also our tour consists of mainly girls, so no being real hoe bags, there are couples too which isn’t a lot of fun. The girls also have big personalities which is a bit not us, we are chill and go with the flow, these people are in your face, dancing on bars, flashing boobs.
They are nice people most of them though.
So the next few posts in random order will be about top deck.
Alex from Canada: it was more of a reunion seeming we hadn’t seen each other for over 7 years. But then drunk me hooked up with him and he becam all clingy, so me being me I ran away one night.
Linda the bus stewardess: she was nice, let me sleep on 2 bus seats and tried to keep them free for most of the 30 hour bus trip.
Budapest taxi driver 1: hailing him after our 30 hour bus ride, he spoke English with a mix of Hungarian.he to,d us that in Budapest there are a lot of idiots and theFormula 1 but he did take us to the hostel and didn’t rip us off which a lot of taxis do.
Budapest taxi driver 2: he didn’t speak a word of English at all. We were running late to because we were hungover and we needed to catch the one and only train to Zagreb. By showing him our ticket and explaining that we were late he literally sped all the way to the station and we made our train on time.
Canadian couple: these 2kept us entertained on our 6 hour train trip to Zagreb with intellectual conversations about animals and Canada.
Holland boys: I thought they were from France and telling everyone that the room was full of French but it turns out they were from Holland. They were cool and when we met them they didn’t have shirt and woah where their bodies fine. Good for the Croatian weather.
Spanish bitches: when we stayed in an all female hostel we met these girls who wouldn’t even speak to us. The only thing they said was if I had stepped on their bed. Why would I step on someone else’s beds. It also made me realize that staying in mixed dorms and with boys is a lot more fun.
After a lazy day the day before, we decided to hit up an island. The options were Hvar or Brač. I had found out that Hvar had a party island reputation and because we only wanted to do a day trip Brač turned out to be a better idea plus we had wanted to cycle around and the info had recommended Brač.
Waking up pretty early, we saw that the line for the ferries was long. Would we make our ferry or not was going to be the next question? Luckily the line moved rather quickly and we were able to make the 11:15 ferry, and after 90 minutes we had arrived.
We hired bicycles, may I also just add it would be nearly 10 years or more that I had ridden a bike. The saying of something about never being able to forget how to ride a bike sprung into my mind, but I can happily say you don’t forget how to ride a bike. Yes it did take me a few minutes to gather my legs though and work out the gears. We were given a route that was easy.
We cycled around Brač and it did show how unfit I am. As we had missed the bicycle track we ended up cycling up hills and on the road. The first hill piece of cake, my thighs burnt and I was huffing and puffing. Thinking I had a low blood sugar level i hopped off my bike and tested somethingthat i rarely do.it turned out I was just unfit. The second hill was the killer. Iended up getting off and walking the last quarter, but it’s ok because my friend did too. The boy had sped up the hill and was waiting for us saying what a piece of cake that was.
At the second hill as we were taking in the sites and getting my breath back out of no where a shirtless old man with gold teeth crossed the road and invited us back to where he lives for some water. His English was understand most of the time. I was a bit wary but because we were in the company of a male friend I thought it was pretty safe. The man as he described himself as a person who had 2 million euros and lots of people working for him, I think he was an optician or a doctor of some sort. But then he lost it all. So he set up this camp. It was like tent city, there were tents, palm trees, a lot of junk, make shift chairs and make shifts lounges. He offered us water or vitamin c water I don’t know, but it did come out of a haemodialysis container. I haven’t died yet so it must have been alright. He also gave me a Croatian hat, because I was cycling without a hat and the sun was hot. I don’t really like hats, but hey I scored a free souvenir and the hat did end up helping. He gave us a tour of the camp site stopping every so often telling us to take a photo of this and that, we also wrote in his guest book. I don’t know who this man was or is, but I’m sure he is either religious, wants to make the world a better place, a drug taker, a bit of both or a genuine kind man who could turn up being a cult leader. He did give the 3 of us an icon of Jesus. I’m not that religious, but that kind natured gift, is in my wallet right now so that I can remember him from, it’s a priceless souvenir with a lot of meaning and one I’m guessing a lot of people don’t have.
Having had a nice break it was time to continue to the beach, where we cooled off, I also had a low blood sugar level because being one who doesn’t exercise I thought that I wouldn’t be struggling up hills so no need to do a temporary basal. The boy had decided that because us girls or me had slowed him down he would go fast cycling and adventuring. He ended up finding a postcard worthy beach, with white pebbles.
The cycle back was a lot nicer because we had found the bicycle track, so it was flat no hills at all. Arr ing back at the bike rental place it was closed. I have found that happens a lot in Croatia, people take the afternoon off and reopen again at 17;00. We chatted to the owner who had broken English but it was time for us to catch the ferry home and enjoy our last night as a trio with dinner and cocktails